- The Oxford Handbook of the Literature of the U.S. South
- Literary and Textual Histories of the Native South
- Before Hypodescent: Whitening Equations in South America and the American South
- The Dying Confession of Joseph Hare: Transatlantic Highwaymen and Southern Outlaws in the Antebellum South
- Jackson’s Villes, Squares, and Frontiers of Democracy
- Locality and the Serial South
- The Long Shadow of Torture in the American South
- Masculine Sentiment, Racial Fetishism, and Same-Sex Desire in Antebellum Southern Literature
- Southern Affects: Field and Feeling in a Skeptical Age
- Not-So-Still Waters: Travelers to Florida and the Tropical Sublime
- Indian Knives and Color Lines: Mark Twain from Hannibal to the Jim Crow Raj
- Narrative and Counternarrative in <i>The Leopard’s Spots</i> and <i>The Marrow of Tradition</i>
- The Bright Side: African American Women and the Affective Archive of Southern Racial Uplift
- “Proffered for Your Perusal in Ring by Concentric Ring”: The South and the World in William Faulkner’s Fiction
- Richard Weaver, Lillian Smith, the South, and the World
- Arts of Abjection in James Agee, Walker Evans, and Luis Buñuel
- Tennessee Williams and the Burden of Southern Sexuality Studies
- Reimagining the South of Richard Wright: The Anti-Protest Writing of Albert Murray, Raymond Andrews, and Ernest Gaines
- Letter-Writing, Authorship, and Southern Women Modernists
- Nature and Spirituality in Contemporary Appalachian Poetry
- Southern Religion’s Sexual Charge and the National Imagination
- Their Confederate Kinfolk: African Americans’ Interracial Family Histories
- Mourning, Mockery, and the Post-South in Lars von Trier’s <i>Manderlay</i> and Geraldine Brooks’s <i>March</i>
- Made Things: Structuring Modernity in Southern Poetry
- Four Contemporary Latina/o Writers Ghost the U.S. South
- You Don’t Have to Be Born There: Immigration and Contemporary Fiction of the U.S. South
- Asian Americans, Racial Latency, Southern Traces
- The Woundedness of Southern Literature, Looking Away
Abstract and Keywords
Equations for human whitening (Spanish blanqueamiento) emerged in the eighteenth-century Americas as a path to what would later be termed “racial improvement.” Such equations were derived from folk and learned knowledge economies around degeneration in plants and brutes dating back hundreds of years. Horses, merino sheep, and racing and hunting dogs from Spain and its possessions were the envy of the world in the early modern period. Thomas Jefferson’s horse breeding and sheep breeding informed his understanding of how much “white” blood was required for persons with black African ancestry to leave the mulatto category. Definitions of “mulatto” and “white” in parts of the early U.S. republic imply crucial similarities in the racial lives of British America and Spanish America: overlapping histories of whiteness and hybridity that contemporary critical histories of race overlook. Ignoring this shared legacy fuels our continuing re-inscriptions of whiteness in the U.S. today.
Ruth Hill is Professor of Spanish and Andrew W. Mellon Chair of the Humanities at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches courses in critical race studies from the early modern period to the present. She is the author of Hierarchy, Commerce, and Fraud in Bourbon Spanish America.
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